Climate Change Denial

August 26, 2007

LIVE WILD AND DIE

George Marshall @ 1:02 am

In another of my irregular postings on climate denial in adverts here is a selection of French press ads for gas-gourmand SUVs and energy companies that combine arrogance with racism in the quest for new frontiers to destroy.

jeep_bear.jpgIn this advert a subservient bear is bringing the keys to the Jeep in his teeth. The slogan is “Man has always dreamt of taming nature”. Those Jeep emissions lead to increased temperatures lead to increased range of the pine beetle, destroying entire forests of Whitebark Pines the seeds of which are a crucial source of winter food for Grizzlies in the US northwest. Taming is just another word for exterminating.

cherokee_ecoutez_votre_ame.jpgThe frontier is also evoked by the ‘savage primative’. The ads follow the lead of generations of French intellectuals in romanticizing and patronizing indigenous peoples. In this advert a model is daubed in war paint under the slogan ‘Savage Dream’ to promote the Jeep Cherokee. One might think that after 500 years of smallpox, syphilis, tuberculosis, and state sanctioned massacres the Cherokee Nation might be allowed a little respect. 

citroen_tribale1.jpgThe Amazonian peoples have undoubtedly fared even worse, but are still portrayed as idiot savants in these ads. The copy for the Citroen C3 tells us “when Héyoka came back to his tribe, he brought together his people in order to tell them about his vision: it was the new C3 X-TR. In his vision, Héyoka felt first much robustness and security – then much comfort and adaptability – and also a true pleasure in driving …Even the oldest people in the tribe had never had such a vision’.

edf_paques.jpgAnd finally here is another piece of tribal wisdom. This advert for EDF, the largest power company in France and the world’s largest nuclear operator carries the slogan: “We develop tomorrow’s energies for future generations”. But what kind of extraordinary logic uses the Easter Island statues as a progressive image? The Easter Island civilization collapsed from deforestation and overpopulation. The statues are a symbol of hubris and denial in the face of an impending environmental disaster. What staggering stupidity to use them to promote nuclear power.

The adverts and analysis can be found on the website of the French ‘Alliance pour La Planete’ link…   and I am indebted to  Laurence Ledoux for drawing them to my attention and providing translations. Please everyone, keep sending me absurd and disturbing adverts.

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5 Responses to “LIVE WILD AND DIE”

  1. Hi George,

    I don’t know, but I wonder whether EDF are using the Easter Island image to indicate that we know what happened to the Easter Islanders and we want to avoid their fate. .. though this is a long shot to expect many people to know that. I wonder if anyone reading this would know.

    Anyhow, my impression is that EDF are trying to help develop clean technologies, such as their collaboration with Ceres Power:

    http://www.cerespower.com/news/EDF2007.pdf

    .. and their website indicates they are active in renewables etc. (as with most power companies these days).

    Very interesting site you have, George.

    Peter

  2. reminds me of an article I read recently, can’t remember where, that pointed out how many car adverts are playing on childhood imagery these days – cars that are actually balloons, or skateboards, are driven by teddy bears, or just taking the ‘what did you want to be when you grew up’ angle.
    All ways of making cars playthings, innocent things, toys, not an inefficient, selfish and destructive form of personal transportation.

  3. alvinwriter says:

    As someone who’s worked in advertising, I can see how such posters attempt to make their audience associate advertised products with nature and indigeneous subjects. The goal is to make them appear “friendly” to the environment in an attempt to build an image that rides along with what’s in these days—going “green.”

    While it may not be in good taste for environmentalists, the ads may really appeal to those who are already inclined to buying a product like an SUV, while thinking—or more precisely—psychologically associating it, with the characteristics or properties of a depicted natural object. These visuals of these ads are designed to excite the emotion more than the mind.

    Volkswagen to Offset Owner’s Carbon Footprint Through Partnership with Carbonfund.org: http://www.thenewsroom.com/details/654295?c_id=wom-bc-ar

    - Alvin from TheScienceDesk at TheNewsRoom.com

  4. RemyC says:

    Using the Easter Island Moai to promote Nuclear Power plays so much in the favor of the anti-nuclear camp, they must be clueless… In the US, the Moai has become the symbol of the environmental movement’s emotional and cultural ties with Tiki Kulture, as expressed on http://www.thebox66.com... Thanks for turning me on this ad… it’s going to make the rounds of all the green blogs… the Moai stands proudly with the greens, we claimed him first… he’s ours!

  5. RobHK says:

    No hits on the Amnesty site? Shurely shome mishtake? Try again. I got 63.

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